Do you believe in God or a higher power? Is God not answering your prayers to become a mother? Many women experiencing infertility tell us they feel they are being ‘punished. We hear comments like “I feel like I’m being punished for .......... being selfish and wanting a career .......... for having a termination when I was young ………. because I won’t be a good mother ………. I must have done something bad.”
This is where feelings get mashed together – guilt, grief, sadness, self-anger, disillusionment and the list goes on. What can you do? Some cognitive restructuring can help.
If you do believe it is God’s punishment, does this thought make sense with what you know about all faith practices? God, in all faiths, is a loving, forgiving God. Perhaps this thought could be restructured to match your faith – God has other plans for me at this moment.
Try to understand that our decisions in life are made with the information we have at that present time, after all, we can’t have the information of 10 years ahead. Here some self-compassion can help. Understanding that you are a good person, not perfect because none of us are, but a good person. Our actions of our youth need to be understood, that we were young, with very little life experience. We make choices, wanting to be happy, to be loved, to survive.
Kristen Neff, Assoc Prof at the University of Texas, teaches us that we need self-compassion before we can offer true compassion to others. A self-compassion meditation may be bringing those punishing thoughts to mind and saying to yourself:
This is a moment of suffering.
Suffering is part of life.
May I be kind to myself, in this moment.
These phrases may not work for you, so play around with them to find the words you find compassionate and soothing. Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes, spend a minute firstly focused on your breath, just to get yourself grounded in the present moment, and then spend a few minutes breathing gently and reciting the mantra to yourself. Feel your body absorb the mantra. Even after only a few minutes, the body will relax, the mind will stop ruminating over punishing thoughts and your emotional rollercoaster will gently come to a quiet stillness.
To download one of our free meditations to help you find that quiet stillness click here
To find your closest Mind Body Program for Fertility click here